Today I will post a delicious recipe for fresh PEI mussels. But before I do, I want to go over a few rules you need to remember when it comes to preparing mussels. As with any seafood, or meat for that mater, you need to ensure proper care is taken to clean, store and prepare them correctly, or you might be in for a nasty bout of sick!

Here are the hard and fast rules when it comes to mussels:

1. Make sure they are coming from a good source where they have been stored in cool conditions out of heat. Fresh mussels should smell like the sea, never fishy.
2. Once you get them home, store in your refrigerator, in a ventilated bowl, with a damp cloth over top.
3. To clean your mussels, scrub each one gently under running water, and set aside until ready to prepare.
4. You want your mussels to be live when cooked (barbaric, I know) so make sure that you discard any that don’t close up during washing/cleaning. Same goes after cooking (any that don’t open then, discard)
5. If your mussels are bearded, remove the beard by pulling gently along the opening to the mussel.
6. Now you’re ready to prepare your mussels for cooking!

Mussels in Tomato Broth

20-30 fresh mussels, washed and de-bearded
2 TBSP butter
1 fresh ripe tomato, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 sweet onion, finely diced
1/4 cup cream (optional)

Heat the butter in a large wok or skillet. Once bubbling, add diced tomato, garlic, parsley and onion and cook slightly. Next, add the mussels, and immediately cover the pan with a tight lid. The liquid in the mussels will escape and allow them to steam in their juice. In about 2-3 minutes, check on the mussels to ensure they are open, and give them a quick stir. Add a little cream (if using) and again, stir and re-cover for about another 2 minutes. Any mussels that have not opened should not be eaten, so discard if there are any.